Vegan Peppermint Mocha Cake – With a moist, peppermint and coffee infused chocolate cake, to die for peppermint frosting and crushed candy canes! The perfect cake for Christmas.

close up slice of cake with fork taking a bite

This Vegan Peppermint Mocha Cake tastes like a peppermint mocha in cake form! If you’ve made my Best Vegan Chocolate Cake, you will be happy to hear this cake is very similar.

Instead of adding hot water, I subbed hot coffee plus a little peppermint extract. The incredibly delicious frosting is a version of my Vegan Vanilla Frosting recipe, with peppermint extract added.

Sprinkle some crushed candy canes on top and you are ready to celebrate!

whole peppermint mocha cake with a slice being removed

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piece of cake on a white plate with crushed candy canes

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close up slice of cake with fork taking a bite
5 stars (37 ratings)

Vegan Peppermint Mocha Cake

Vegan Peppermint Mocha Cake - With a moist, peppermint and coffee infused chocolate cake, to die for peppermint frosting and crushed candy canes! The perfect cake for Christmas.
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 1 hr
Servings: 16 servings


The Cake

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or soy)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee

Peppermint Frosting

  • 1 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons almond or soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/4-1/2 cup crushed candy canes


For the Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease two 8-inch cake pans. I also line them with parchment rounds for easy removal of the cakes later.
  • Measure 1 cup unsweetened almond milk and add the tablespoon of vinegar to it. Stir slightly and set aside to curdle.
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk well to combine.
  • Now add the oil, applesauce, vanilla, peppermint and almond milk/vinegar mixture. Mix on medium speed with a hand mixer until well combined. 
  • Lower the speed and carefully pour in the hot coffee, continuing to mix into the cake batter until combined. The batter will seem very runny at this point; that is how it should be, trust me!
  • Divide the batter evenly between your cake pans. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. After 10 minutes of cooling in the pan, carefully remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting & Decorating

  • In a large bowl, beat the vegan butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until all the powdered sugar is mixed in.
  • With the mixer on low-medium speed, add the non-dairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the vanilla and peppermint as well, and increase the speed to high. Beat for about 30 seconds, until light and fluffy.
  • If the frosting seems too thick, you can add more non-dairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the frosting is too thin and runny, simply add more powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Frost the cake and decorate with crushed candy canes as desired. I like to put a sprinkle of crushed candy canes in the middle layer of the cake as well. Enjoy!


  1. I recommend using dark cocoa powder, such as Hershey's Special Dark if you can, it makes the cake darker and so pretty. But regular cocoa powder will work as well, your cake will just be lighter in color.
  2. I used Earth Balance brand of vegan butter. I prefer the sticks, but the tub will work. You could also use another brand such as Melt, Miyokos or even vegetable shortening if you can't find vegan butter.
  3. I found crushed candy canes in the bulk section at my local store, but you can crush them yourself using a ziplock bag and something heavy, like a cup. Just pound away until you have little candy cane pieces.


Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 365mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 539IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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  1. I was just thinking of what I’m going to make for the holidays this year and I remembered that I made this cake last year! It was the best cake I’ve ever made, and I’ve made a lot of cakes! It was so delicious that we were even eating it for dessert after lunch in that hazy period between Christmas and New Year’s. 🙂 I am going to make it again this year, but as cupcakes, for a holiday party. Thanks for this recipe and all of the others you’ve shared. You are one of my most favorite vegan cooking sites. <3

    1. Michelle, your kind words really mean a lot to me! I agree this is a great holiday cake! I’m glad you LOVE it, and will be using the recipe again! Thank you for taking time to share your wonderful feedback! Enjoy those cupcakes!

  2. Hey, Nora! I LOOOVE this cake and want to make it into cupcakes. Do you have a timeframe for them to be in the oven that way?

    Thank you for ALL your recipes. They are stellar!!!

    1. Hi! I’m so glad you love the cake! For cupcakes, bake them for 20-24 minutes, until done in the middle. Thanks for sharing your wonderful feedback!

  3. This cake is nothing short of spectacular. I have made it twice and both times it was moist and delicious. It is chocolatey with just the right amount of peppermint. This is a real crowd pleaser. Thank you for such a great recipe!

    1. You are welcome! I am so happy to hear that you loved this cake! Thank you for taking time to share your fantastic feedback and review!

  4. We made these into cupcakes and they turned out very well. Super moist, light, and fluffy. Another incredible recipe, thank you, Nora!

  5. AMAZING! The one thing I always do is bake, frost and freeze overnight, only covered with frosting. Remove the next day and you have one amazing moist cake. If you leave it in the freezer do cover it the next day. Vegan butter makes a very silky, fluffy frosting.

  6. Was hit at my work. Love that it was moist. Thank you for sharing! Making a batch right now, this time trying it without the peppermint flavor. ☺️

  7. Those positive comments are all correct. This cake was amazing. My family loved it, and was surprised when I told them it was vegan. It had the perfect amount of sweetness. It was super moist. I followed your recipe exactly except for the cake pan, I used one 10” round and cut it in half when it came out of the oven cause I only had one cake pan. I have one of those level cake cutters. 

     Thank you so much for all you do, I’ve tried so many of your recipes and not one has failed me. 

    1. Your wonderful comments mean so much to me! I am so glad the cake was a hit with your family! Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful review and comments!

  8. This cake was amazing! I normally don’t like chocolate cakes but this is not your ordinary cake! The flavors of chocolate and peppermint blend beautifully together.  I used Mikoyos butter for the icing it took it over the top!  ( I’m normally not a fan of icing)

    Thank you for a great cake!

  9. Hi Nora! Merry Christmas!! I have been eyeing this cake for a month because I was going to make it for Christmas. We’ll I made it today and let me just say it was AMAZING!!  First it was so moist and tasty, you would never know it was vegan. Second, it was the perfect amount of mint, very subtle and not overpowering. The icing was very good too! My family LOVED this cake and I will be making it again and I can adapt this beautiful chocolate cake in so many ways using other flavours! Thank you and Happy Holidays! 

    1. Hi Nicole! Happy holidays to you! I am glad you and your family loved the cake! Thank you for sharing your great review and comments! Happy holiday cooking!

  10. Can I make this with cacao powder? I don’t have dark cocoa powder, but I would assume they would come out the same 

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